Fried Chicken Festival to return this fall, with new home on New Orleans lakefront | Where NOLA Eats

As the spring festival season finally returns to form, moves are underway to bring back fall festivals after a pandemic hiatus as well.

That includes the National Fried Chicken Festival, which confirmed its plans to return in October with creative dishes from a wide range of vendors, live music and a new home on the New Orleans lakefront.

The St. Augustine High Marching 100 Band makes an entrance during the National Fried Chicken Festival at Woldenberg Park in New Orleans Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019.

The event is now scheduled for Oct. 1 and 2 on a stretch of park-like grounds by Lake Pontchartrain, along Lakeshore Drive between Franklin Avenue and the Seabrook Bridge.

The location runs parallel to the University of New Orleans’ Lakefront Arena, but on the other side of the levee, for waterfront views and lake breezes while the music plays and food vendors provide their own takes on the fest’s namesake inspiration.


Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers perform during the National Fried Chicken Festival at Woldenberg Park in New Orleans Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019.

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The National Fried Chicken Festival is sponsored by chicken giant Raising Cane’s, though the focus of the festival is on smaller restaurants, food trucks, caterers and other pros with a passion for fried chicken. The event has become a showcase for different styles around the common theme of fried chicken.


Another batch of fried chicken from McHardy’s Chicken and Fixin’ is prepped during the National Fried Chicken Festival in New Orleans.

The event was previously held along the riverfront at Woldenberg Park. After calling off the 2020 edition, organizers planned to move the festival to the lakefront in 2021, but this too was canceled amid a pandemic surge last year.

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